Top ways of giving back to the community -- Jan 06
When you’re trying to lead your happiest and healthiest life, one great path to self-fulfillment and reward will always be the act of giving back.

Giving back to the direct community around you or giving back to the community at large, is not only a good way for you to perform positive deeds, but a great way to keep the positive flow of the world going. Even the simplest acts of community kindness can go a long way.

Of course giving back to the community can mean many things. It may be simple donations or spreading awareness, or it could be a dedicated career endeavor in which you want to make a professional difference, like studying for a BSW online and becoming a community social worker or working within community emergency services.

There are many ways to give back, whether on a personal level, a professional level, or both.

What is a Community?

A community can mean many different things, both officially and on a personal level. An official community can be the place in which you live or society as a whole. So supporting the community can mean supporting the area in which you live, such as your street or town, or it can mean supporting other people within society around you.

On another level, community can mean a group of people brought together. There could be a workplace community, with a group of people working within the same environment. There could be a study community, both in person and online, of learners brought together studying for a qualification, like a BSW online. Generally, it’s simply a group of people brought together in some way with shared goals and a common purpose.

When talking about giving back to the community, the main focus of this is how to help the society and other people around you.

Why is Community Support Important?

Any act of support and kindness, whether large or small, is going to make a difference in the lives of those around you. However, when it comes to acts of support in the community, there is the potential to positively influence the running of a community and improve everyone’s lives for the long-term. Communities allow individuals to feel a sense of belonging and provide support for their members during the most trying times. Therefore supporting your community is a show of human kindness and encouragement of positivity as a whole.

What Does it Mean to Have a Sense of Community?

A sense of community can be defined as a shared sense of belonging. It can mean a group of people who are connected through the mentality ‘everyone matters – no one left behind’, as well as a shared understanding of others’ wants and needs.

This sense of community can be on a large or small scale. Direct sense of community can happen in specific areas, like the location in which you live, or you can have a general sense of community through a shared goal for an important cause, such as everyone working together across the globe to combat environmental issues or important causes.

A sense of community may also be encouraged, created and supported by those within job roles which are designed to promote that specific sense of community. An example of this could be a teacher, a social worker studying for a BSW online or a community leader.

Creating and developing a sense of community requires the shared drive and communication to do so. It’s about individuals speaking openly about a shared goal and taking action to promote and preserve that sense of community.

Want to Give Back to the Community? Here are the Top Ways You Can Do That

Now that the importance of community has been highlighted, you may feel that you want to help and give back in whatever way you can. Even simply deciding you want to help is the first crucial step to giving back as much as possible and supporting others around you — even people you may never meet.

If you’re looking for ways to give back to the community in general, here are some of the top ways you can do that.

In Your Career

One of the most fundamental ways you can give back to your community is within your career. This means that you can dedicate the majority of your working life to giving back to the community, as well as doing anything extra in your spare time you wish to do in to help even more.

If you’re thinking about the best careers which work to help people who may be struggling, or help the community as a whole, here are a few examples of some rewarding job roles:

• Social Worker. After studying for a BSW or a BSW online qualification, social workers move on to assist vulnerable people and crisis causes in a variety of settings. Social workers serve to help individuals within the community, as well as taking on communities as a whole – such as by providing workshops or activities. As a social worker, you can give back by helping those in need transform their lives for the better, and get the help they need. A BSW online qualification or BSW degree will best help social workers to prepare.

• Therapist or counsellor. In this role you will be helping those in need within your community by supporting them through times of crisis or mental health issues. Therapists and counsellors are fundamental in promoting positive and healthy lives for those in need of professional support. Not only will you help to improve and support individual lives for the better, but this improvement may also see those individuals going on to make a positive difference in the community around them.

• Emergency services. The emergency services, such as the police or fire service, work tirelessly to make a safe community for those living within it. Working within emergency services sees you making a positive difference every day in supporting and protecting others, as well as providing a solid and dependable presence within a community.

Supporting Others to Give Back

Sometimes, giving back may be trying to encourage as many people as possible for a greater cause. Those who are unmotivated or who are in a vulnerable position may need a helping hand to get on track and make a positive difference — in their own lives and for the lives of others and the community as a whole.

As mentioned, roles like social workers using a BSW online qualification are best equipped for helping others get back on track, and showing them how to promote a more positive sense of community. Social workers can help to support projects and community workshops that can benefit the world around them, such as environmental work or helping people donate unwanted items. A BSW online qualification means many community roles become available and working online has highlighted the importance of communication and the need for a strong community.

Assisting Charities in Any Way You Can

Charities are fundamental in raising much needed funding or items for those most in need around the world, as well as important causes which affect the population, like environmental concerns. Assisting these charities in any way you can means providing vital help to those causes which most need it.

Here are some ways you can look to assist charities around the world.

Making donations

You may want to have a serious declutter and donate unwanted items to your local charity. Or, you may want to make a cash donation to any charity of your choice, which can easily be done online for charities based around the world, as well as within your local community.

Donations are always needed and vital for the ongoing work of charitable causes, so any donation, whether large or small, will help to give back and make a difference.

Job roles working for charities

You may want to support charities even further be considering careers which directly work with — or under — charitable causes. There may be job openings within charity organizations themselves, or you may want to look for jobs which can work directly with good causes, like a BSW online social worker helping charities care for vulnerable people.

Voluntary work

You might want to donate your spare time to charities by offering to perform voluntary work. The manner of this work will be dependent on what your chosen charity is most in need of. Charity shops in your local community may need assistance working on the till or running the shop, so it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs in the window which may plea for voluntary hours.

Some charities may need the help of fundraisers to target the local community and raise awareness and money.

Enquire with any chosen charity in your community to ask regarding the ways in which you can volunteer and help.

Fundraising for charities

It’s always possible to actively raise money for charitable causes. A good example of this is trying to get sponsorship to raise money for a charity of your choice. This could be coupled with a personal goal you’d like to achieve, such as being sponsored to run a marathon, and donating the proceeds to charity.

You could raise money by hosting a bake sale in your community, or other fun ways which both raise money and bring people together to strengthen the sense of community even further.

Respect and Recognize Those Who Work to Serve the Community

Even if you’re not actively working to serve the community in your job role, respecting and recognizing the hard work of those who do is just as important in promoting a sense of community. Community is about mutual recognition and respect, so try to never take for granted the hard work of those who serve to work in helping the community, like emergency service workers, BSW online social workers, teachers, doctors or nurses.

You may even want to raise awareness and recognition for the hard work these people do, especially during times of crisis, by spreading the word. This could be word-of-mouth, a respectful social media post or highlighting this work during community events.

Be Respectful of the Environment Around You

Giving back to the community doesn’t just mean helping others and the lives of others. It can also mean helping to create a safe and healthy environment for those who live within the world. Being respectful of the environment and helping for a more eco-friendly lifestyle means that those around you — and, indeed, around the world — can live in a much more positive and sustainable way.

Caring for the environment also means supporting a more sustainable future, which would benefit communities across the globe.

In being respectful of the environment, you may want to look for community events you can help with which are directly linked to the environment, such as managing a community plot where everyone can plant flowers or even plant trees. You can also make sure the community avoids littering and keeps tidy streets.

Watch Out for Each Other

Watching out for other people within the community can be done on a daily basis simply by being more aware of your own respectful actions and when other people you encounter may need a helping hand. This may be a neighbor, a loved one or a colleague, and because they might not always ask for help, being more attuned to their behaviour and feelings can make it easier for you to offer a helping hand when it’s most needed — without being asked first.

In order to care for those around you and help vulnerable people, you might want to consider a community role, whether voluntary or as a career, which focuses on supporting people in need. As discussed, this could be a BSW online social worker, or it could be a community support officer, or maybe even a volunteer in the local church or community center.

Take Away

As you can see, giving back to the community can be done in a wide variety of ways, just as a sense of community can mean many different things to different people. Giving back to the community starts with the small steps you accomplish yourself, as well as helping others along the way.

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When you’re trying to lead your happiest and healthiest life, one great path to self-fulfillment and reward will always be the act of giving back. (